Friday, May 31, 2013

Tips for your big day!!

I probably name drop this girl like crazy on my blog...maybe because Ashley was my first real blogger friend and I am so thankful for our friendship.

Today, she's gonna give you bride-to-be's some amazing wedding tips. Seriously, take em!! She's amazing ;)
Take it away, Ash!
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Hi everyone!  I'm Ashley from Dancing with Ashley, and am so happy to be here today.  They don't come any better than Kayla, and I am so excited to know her and to be her friend.

This picture ^ is my absolute favorite wedding picture.  It's kinda blurry..and really candid...but that's what I love about it.  We look so giddy and so excited and it brings back all those sweet memories.  

I just happen to be borderline obsessed with weddings, and with thoughts from my own wedding, I thought I'd put together a little list of wedding tips for all future brides.

source for bicycles
1.  Do what you want!  There is absolutely no set way to design your wedding.  If you want pizza and cupcakes, have pizza and cupcakes.  There are 2 things, however, that must not happen.  #1.  Do NOT...under any circumstance, include where you are registered on your wedding invite.  It horrifies me to no end that people actually do this.  Including a wedding website that leads to your registry, yes.  An announcement that people should buy you gifts at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, no.  #2.  Since it is no longer 1852, you do not need to have a receiving line.  Please, no.  Walk around at your reception and greet your guests.

2.  Get the BEST photographer. I think this is where your money needs to go because your pictures will be the only thing you have to remember your special day.  Make sure your photographer is experienced and that you look at their wedding portfolio.  This was my mistake.  My photographer was an excellent dance photographer, and captured the most amazing pictures of me while dancing.  But for weddings?  Let's just say he needs to run (as fast as he can) in the opposite direction if I ever see him again.  I would also suggest getting a second shooter, maybe someone who is a great photographer but doesn't have a ton of wedding experience.  Pictures are sooo important!!  I can't stress that enough.

3.  Pick bridesmaids who support you. Another really important one.  Choose bridesmaids who will help you, who will say positive things about you, and who will be excited for you.  It will be heartbreaking if some of your bridesmaids aren't "on your side". Don't feel obligated to have any one in particular in your bridal party.  It's YOUR day!!

What are some of your wedding tips/questions?

{I know you're having a blast in Mexico, my dear friend!!  Can't wait to hear all about it!}

Monday, May 27, 2013

Bahama Mama!

Hi everyoneeee... so I know I'm typing this BEFORE I get married, but its pretty safe to say my wedding was (will be) amazing. I figured since I was enjoying my amazing honeymoon in Mexico, that I could have a few of my favorite ladies take over and blog about THEIR trips with their hubbies when it was their turn.
If you are having a travel bug... just a warning, stay away. You'll be booking a flight to some gorgeous beach before you can finish reading this post.
Jk, please staaayy.

Kaitlyn, take it awaaayy girl!
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Kalik for you, two kaliks for you, three for me, and another kalik for you there.

This post would be so much fun if I could hand out Kaliks for everyone. Oh, and hi, I'm Kaitlyn from put a bow on it! Sweet Kayla is off on her honeymoon and I'm over here just day dreaming about mine. It's been 9 months too long!

I actually haven't even blogged about our honeymoon yet, so you are in for a treat!

I didn't really care where we went, so I left that up to my husband-to-be. He is a TOTAL researcher. To the point where I'm normally yelling at him to JUST PICK SOMETHING ALREADY. He ended up finding Shanna's Cove Resort in Cat Island, Bahamas.

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And yes, I took this! It's really THAT gorgeous.
I'm not sure how we got so lucky with this place. For the past few years it has won the top place for ALL resorts in the Bahamas. Although, I don't really think you can call it a resort. There were 6 bungalows atop a cliff overlooking the most amazing beach you've ever seen and then a main house where the owners live and the restaurant is.

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Terrible lighting - but this was our room for the week. Not pictured is the amazing bathroom with a shower that A still dreams about.

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The view from our room.
For all of you that are married, I think you will understand this part. I ATE SO MUCH FOOD. I went from eating like a rabbit for the months leading up to the wedding, to eating pizza every day for lunch. The food at this place was OUT OF THIS WORLD. And the best part? The owner, Gabi, made it all. Every day. FROM SCRATCH. We woke up to fresh cheeses and fruits, freshly ground coffee and unlimited pancakes, waffles, etc. For lunch we seriously did eat pizza every day. It was the best pizza ever - and this is coming from a so called "pizza snob."
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Dinner the second night. Seared duck breast, scalloped potatoes and carrots. The best scalloped taters I have had IN MY WHOLE LIFE.
Like I sad, it was a VERY small resort. My only request for the honeymoon was to go to a place where all we did was lie on the beach all day, every day. Some people want places with adventure and activities...not me. I was a crazy stressed mess thanks to work for the weeks leading up to our wedding, so I NEEDED this week in paradise.

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No, we didn't bring our cell phone out there to communicate with people (no service thank you LORD), we put on music and for 8 hours each day, we were in heaven.
We did venture out one night to a local establishment. Sidenote - the people of Cat Island are the nicest people I've ever met. There's no crime and everyone is friends with everyone. This could be due to the fact that they didn't have electricity on the island until 1997. I guess everyone just hung out in the few "cool" spots together prior to that! SO incredibly happy and just amazing people - end sidenote. We spent all night at Da Smoke Pot eating delicious conch (obsessed), drinking Bahama Mamas and dancing to "rake n scrape" music - the speciality of Cat Island. And yes, most everyone on the island smokes some sort of weed on a daily basis. Maybe THAT is why they are so happy...

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So I'll just sit here and try not to be TOO jealous of Kayla. After all, one year is quickly approaching and we said we would take an anniversary trip...


I'd love for you to stop by my blog and say hi!
The only rule is that on Wednesdays, we wear pink. And talk weddings.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Dear wedding...


Dear wedding...

I have been dreaming of you literally since I was a little girl. The planning may have been a little stressful, but its also been one of the best times of my life. Seeing how involved Caleb has been with you (unlike most men), makes my heart swell. Yes, sometimes it caused problems, but we always ended up agreeing in the end. This day is going to be amazing, and I cannot wait to see Caleb's face when he finally sees me walk down that aisle with my dad. All the paranoia that he might see a picture of my dress will fade, and we can just enjoy the moment for what it is. 

Dear Caleb...

We are getting married. We are getting MARRIED! WE ARE GETTING MARRIED!!!!!
Where did time go? These 9 months seriously FLEW. Thank you for letting me get giddy over silly centerpieces, thank you for holding me in my closet as I cried that one time, and thank you most of all for being the God-loving man I need. You're my everything.

Dear bridesmaids...

You all have been amazing. Showered me with love, support, encouragement, and so much more. Your fun weekly countdown messages made me smile, and your presents along the way made me giddy. Thanks for being the BEST friends I could ever ask for. I truly don't know what I would have done without all of you.

Dear Nanny...

You have been SUCH a blessing during this time. Your prayers and support have made a huge difference in this planning stage... and now the hard work has paid off. Thank you for EVERYTHING. All those hours spent helping with centerpieces, your financial support, and random trips to Sam's Club when I needed them. You're amazing and I'm so thankful for you.

Dear parents...

Thanks for loving me, even when I'm crazy. Dad, I can't wait to walk down the aisle with you, and listen to your toast at our reception. Open the floodgates...

Dear dance floor... get ready to be TO' UP! ;)

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I WILL BE MARRIED TOMORROW. Thank you ALL sooo much for the support, kind words, tweets, snap-chats, texts, random gifts and love. I literally never thought blogging could make someone so happy...how wrong I was ;) you all are the best readers I could ask for.

But for real... I'm getting married tomorrow?!?! WOOOO!!!!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

By the way Kayla, your friends are awesome.

I'm so happy I started blogging... can I just say that? This group of gals is such a great one, everyone is so supportive, uplifting, sweet and just...genuine.

To me, this is a huge quality I look for when I surround myself with people. I'd rather spend my time and energy on people who genuinely care about me, amiiiriighhhtt?

Last night, Erin swung by my house, dropped off the programs she created for us along with a few other wedding-related things. She told me I needed to "sit down" for the next part, because she had something from a few people who really loved me. She came back in the room, set something in front of me and told me I could finally look!
Imagine my surprise when I open my eyes to see the most gorgeous Lilly Pulitzer tote (that doubles as an insulated beach cooler) jammed pack full of goodies?! My eyes widened, and I immediately started asking questions - who is this from?! why did they do this?! Who are these amazing people!?

Erin proceeded to tell me that some of my closest blogging friends all got together to make me a huge bag full of goodies that I could take with me on my honeymoon as one big wedding present. 

They did this...for me?
Yes Kayla, your friends ROCK.

I somehow held it together the entire time. I know its silly, but it makes me emotional when I think about the time & effort, and secrecy these girls kept from me as they pulled this off. How clever!? When people put in that kind of effort and expect nothing in return... I know they are true friends. Even crazier? I've never met any of them. How cool is that?!

From what it sounded like... miss Lexxyy pants had this wonderful idea and got all of my closest bloggy friends to pull off this little shindig for me. I'd compare it to a blogging shower... ;) is that a thing?
Now it is.

I got ALL sorts of stuff! GORGEOUS floppy hats, monogrammed drinking glasses, sunglasses, a beach towel...the sweetest Prayer book that was passed down, and so much more.



Take one little guess who sent me the BOW accessory?! ;)



HUGEEEEE ginormous, insanely tight hugs to AshleyKaitlynAlexaaaAnnaRobin, & my other Ashley! Special thanks to Erin for delivering it all to me safely and being so amazing.
I am literally taking it ALL to Mexico with us... and I'll be doing a follow up post on more details inside my bag when my camera cord becomes available to me again (ahem -- Caleb!)

I never knew starting a blog would put me in touch with any of these amazing women. A few of them included cards, that when I read a second time may or may not have made me tear up. I'm not sure how we all crossed paths, but all I can say is I am SO thankful we did.

I love you ALL, ladies. Oh my gosh. Tomorrow is the REHEARSAL DINNER!
I swear, I'm dying. In the best way possible.
Life is amazing. Truly.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Friends that make my week.

Well I officially have THREE days until I'm a married woman and I think my brain is turning to mush...
so, there's that.
But really...how am I supposed to focus right now? Work is not exciting, all I can focus on is dancing all night after saying my vows...and spending 7 whole nights in Mexico on the amazing beach eating my body weight in food with my HUSBAND.
Sorry, I'm totally going to love... "oh, have you met my husband??!"

Last night...we went to my brother's awesome high school band concert. They did something similar to what Nick Cannon and his boys did in the movie Drumline. VERY cool.
Anyway!
Caleb left around 9:30, and no more than 3 minutes later... there is a knock at the front door. It was my Maid of Honor with a small gift to say happy wedding week!!

"4 mo' days!"
She stayed for about half an hour and we discussed random wedding stuff, she had to calm me down and remind me that everything will be perfect like 97 times. Thank goodness.
It got me thinking about all the sweet things my friends do for me, just because.

Like the fact that Erin made our wedding programs on a whim and they look INCREDIBLE. Could she get any more talented? She not only saved us tons of money, but they make me happier knowing they are so personal and made from her heart.

Or that sweet moment I get a text from Caleb when I'm about to fall asleep that says; "We are getting MARRIED! Can you believe it?!!?"

& how about when two sweet co-workers take me out to lunch back to back days to treat me and give me pre-wedding presents?

I can't forget my sweet daily emails with Ashley & Anna, their love and encouragement has been such a blessing during this time of my life. I can't wait to meet BOTH of my closest blogging pals (this year!?)!!

Seriously though... I don't know what I'd do without any of my friends or family. They have gotten me through this engagement and then some. I think I owe them all big time when we arrive back from our honeymoon...except I don't want to think about that yet, that whole having-to-come-back-from-Mexico thing. Uh uh.
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Multiple times in this wedding planning stage, I've been worried... worried about how the food will taste, how the decorations will turn out, or who may or may not make it out.  I've learned that these things don't matter. What matters is to turn to God when I feel the anxiety, jealousy, or worry rooting its ugly head.

Because God is always constant...and He is always good. Even in the silence...



Today is my last day of work before the wedding craziness kicks in and I'll be back once (maybe twice) before the wedding. Don't worry though, there will be 4 amaaaaazing women posting while I'm gone. They are some of my closest friends and cannot wait for you to read about THEIR honeymoons/etc.

AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH 3 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Caleb.

As I sit here in my bedroom, writing another blog post... I'm just thinking about life. Has it really hit me yet? That I get married in 4 tiny days. My life is about to change dramatically...

but I can't help but smile about that. God has done so much in my life, to prepare me for this huge moment. The past 9 months have been spent prepping every little detail for this one single day.
Last night, I was put into a new perspective. It's not about what my hair looks like, or if the bustle on my dress doesn't turn out just right, or even if I can't find the perfect 3 tiered cupcake holder...

What does matter, is that at the end of the day, I will be Caleb's wife. I will be his everything, for the rest of forever. To some people, the thought of marriage is scary... committing yourself to one person, and one person alone, for the rest of your lives together. For me?
It's exciting, and I'm ready.


As I sit here to finish writing my vows to Caleb, I can't help but get emotional. I know, I know...I'm not typically all mushy gushy on my blog....but all I can feel right now is this lump in my throat.
Not a bad one.
But a good lump, full of joy...happy tears, giddiness. I truly feel that I'm waiting to begin the rest of my life. I'm just so lucky I get to spend it with him.
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So, Caleb...if you're reading this. Get ready.
You get to live with me in just a few days...and then you'll find out just how weird I am.

You might come home & hear the stereo blaring Thriller throughout the house...
we might have cereal for dinner every night for the first year...
I'll eat entirely too much Skyline Chili and not be sorry about it...
my socks will never match...
I steal the covers...
& sometimes talk in my sleep.
I probably won't apologize about the amounts of shoes I own...
or lotions... or the fact that I always have at least 3 shower gels in use all year round...

...but...
You will receive encouragement when you need it...
and silence where appropriate...
Patience through the rough days
and joy where celebration is due.
Prayer for any anxieties, and comfort for your heartaches.
Most of all...you will never have to doubt my love.
It's always there.
Thanks for being my man... you rock ;)

Now lets get married, already.

Monday, May 20, 2013

ITS WEDDING WEEEEK!!

ITS MY WEDDING WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am over the moon with excitement.

I have had NO time to even get on my computer this weekend.
Which was amazing.

Friday night Caleb and I spent relaxing, and grabbing some chick fil a (I think my wedding diet went out the window like 2 weeks ago, whoops!)

Saturday morning, I hung out with Caleb for a bit cleaning the apartment. Then Saturday afternoon was my BACHELORETTE party. I think I'm going to do a separate post on this entirely because there are too many funny moments to relive (half of which will not be shared), haha! 

But here are a few snippets from my weekend through the life of my iPhone...





Although, I won't dive into details just yet; my bridesmaids made this day PERFECT for me. Seriously. It was so fun, and all my best friends were with me to celebrate my "last fling before the ring" ;) I can't thank each of these girls enough for their roles in my life...my best friends, my sisters, my LADIIIESSS! Although many parts of this night were embarrassing, and I was mortified, I had the best time & if I could go back I'd do it all again... embarrassing stuff & all ;)

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Moving on to a more serious matter.
Guys.
My mom came home from Hawaii for my wedding. We weren't sure if she was going to be able to make it, and Thursday morning I got a text from her telling me she finally scored a plane ticket...and she will be here ALL! WEEK! If you didn't read this post, this will give you some background on this topic.

Long story short - my mom went on vacation to Hawaii in February of 2012, and decided not to come back. So, it had been nearly a year and 4 months since I'd seen her. Yesterday I pulled in my driveway after church, and she was knocking on the window from my bedroom...

My eyes welled up into tears and I couldn't hold it together. I had prayed every morning about how to handle this, but knew that everything would be fine. We hugged, jumped up and down, and cried some more. It was awesome. I've missed my momma.

We had my aunt and uncle over, and my little cousins, and my grandparents cooked on the grill. It was such an amazing day spent with family, especially since its my last weekend living at home. Ahh, bittersweet.


There are so many emotions I am feeling this week. All happy, of course. Still though, I know this week is going to FLY BY! 

Any of you who want to follow along on my wedding week can follow me on Instagraaaam, and be excited with me. All of your emails, tweets, snap chats, etc have made me SO happy and I can't thank you all enough for your encouragement and advice.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday? Yet again. HIGH FIVE!

So this was my last FULL week of work before the wedding. Holy cow. I mean, is this real life?
Somebody pinch me.

BUT... seriously?!? This week flew and so did this engagement. Thanks for all of you who poured out your heartfelt advice back on this post. I seriously had the best time reading every single one! 

This week was a great one.


1. top left -- My MOH graduated from college last weekend. SO stinking proud.
2. top right -- This girl. She is an amazing person, and one of the strongest friends I know. I spent my whole Tuesday evening with her, crafting for 3+ hours straight working on....
3. THIS! well...it wasn't complete in this picture. BUT it looks FREAKING AWESOME.
4. This delicious white chocolate covered strawberry.
I only had about 2 bites it was so rich. & I NEVER say that.
5. (on the bottom left) Guys... we saw DAVE RAMSEY last night. What?!? Two of our generous friends got us tickets last year and we are HUGE fans. Caleb and I have taken Financial Peace University twice now, and we are really excited to apply it to our married life once the honeymoon is over.

Okay, am I allowed to have SIX favorite things about this week? Ummm hello. My new blog design is ROCKIN' thanks to my soulmate, Erin!! Love her to pieces. Please, if you are looking for someone to design your blog/make you a button - look no further.

*linking up today with the gorgeous Lauren*
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A few other random things about this week...

-Caleb and I met with our DJ on Wednesday. What was supposed to be a 30 minute meeting, turned into 2.5 hours of us bonding with him and his wife. Talking about church, volunteering, and he even introduced us to HUNDRED'S of new board games. It was just a cool experience.

-New Girl season finale. Woohoo!!!! Anyone else was excited as I was?!

-Birthday shoutout to my girl Robin on her birthday!!!!! :)

-Me, my Nanny, and Lyndsie worked on the centerpieces for the wedding on Monday. They are lookin CUTE. Can't wait to show you all pictures.

-My girl, Becca, found her wedding dress yesterday. I was very sad I couldn't be there... but she looked STUNNING in the pictures. 


-I will be a MRS. in 8 days!! WHAT?!??!

OH... I don't think I've mentioned this on the blog yet. Tomorrow is my bachelorette party. AAHHH! I am so happy I get to spend an entire afternoon/evening with my favorite ladies on this PLANET!!!!! :)

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Single. Freaking. Digits.

I don't really know where the time has gone. One day, a long time ago... we had 9 whole months of engagement-ism (is that a word!?) ahead of us... and now... we have 9 TINY DAYS!!!

I truly don't know where the time has gone. Looking back over this engagement... it has been one heck of a journey. So I thought I'd share some fun moments from it, with you guys today.

-Getting fun, unexpected cards from people you love!


-Right after I asked my (future) sister to be in my wedding as a bridesmaid. She was so shocked. I would show you the picture of her face, but she'd probably kill me ;) so this will have to suffice.


-My silly, (un)creative ways of asking my ladies to be in my wedding. This was Erin's!


-Asking my MOH and another bridesmaid to be in the wedding.


-Showing off the ring every chance I got.


-Surviving the freezing winter with my fiance!


-Dress shopping with my flower girl.


-Getting the keys to our new apartment!!!


-Celebrating my first bridal shower.


-& trying not to die of embarrassment at my second one... ;)


-Receiving some fun RSVP's back!


-Dress shopping with some of my bridesmaids



-That feeling of being freshly engaged...ah, it's one I'll NEVER forget.


Overall....this engagement has been amazing. There were a few bumps in the planning, but that is what makes it memorable. All that truly matters is that at the end of this 9 day countdown... I will be a wife to the man of my dreams. Seriously, he cooks... cleans... and (sometimes) does laundry. What more could a gal want? ;)

I've LOVED getting to know my newer followers and I'm sooo thrilled you all find my "journey" to the altar an interesting one. This blog wouldn't be near as fun without you guys.

Guess what? Tomorrow is FRIDAY!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Help, please!

Totally honest right now? I had nothing planned for this post.
Then I started thinking... okay, my wedding is 11 (whaat!?) days away now. Everyone keeps asking "Are you getting butterflies yet?" and to be totally honest. I'm really not. I've never been more ready to marry Caleb then I am right now.


Don't get me wrong, I'm a little nervous. Mostly about everyone staring at me as I try my hardest to be graceful walking down an aisle. Or that something horrific will happen the morning of, but I keep reminding myself that at the end of the day, I'll be married to my best friend.

I'm going to keep this post short, but I leave you with one question... whether you're married or not;

What is one piece of advice you'd give me for the DAY OF my wedding?

Is it to be sure I have Advil? Starbucks? Extra lip gloss?
Or to soak in every moment as much as possible? Only play a few slow songs?
Whatevvveerrr it may be, lay it on me.
I want the advice!

Sincerely,
This excited bride.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fun friends, good food.

My weekend started out with a little pizza and fruit... I know, kind of contradictory... but its what my church provided.

Friday night was for all the volunteers to come meet at our old building and learn the dance moves to this years sports camp songs. Sports camp is an AMAZING thing our church puts together for our community... we offer an entire week FREE to kids K-5, to come play fun sports, dance a ton, and mostly... to learn about Jesus.

Oh heeey Caleb, I see you.


After that, I literally went home and fell asleep, since Saturday I'd be doing a WHOLE lot of driving.
Why, you ask?


To watch my best friend GRADUATE COLLEGE! I was so proud of her. I still can't believe I made the nearly 3 hour drive there at 6AM, and was back home by 5PM... but let me tell you, that did me in. I took an accidental 2 hour nap when I got home... woke up to eat, and fell back asleep.

But lets back track... this university is where I spent nearly 2 years of my life... I loved it there. Isn't the chapel beautiful!?



I was so proud of her in this moment! She has been through a LOT in the past 4 years, but has been so blessed in her education and I know she will do great things in her life!




It was really fun being back and seeing a ton of old friends, too!




After this I drove down to Columbus to have lunch with Lynds and her family at a really cute diner...where I enjoyed the most delicious cinnamon bread known to man, some incredible tea, and the waiter finished our meal off by saying at "I'm not sure if you're a mother...but if you are, happy Mother's Day"..... he's lucky I'm not easily offended ;)

Caleb was busy all day Saturday with his best friends (about 12 of them) enjoying his last HOORAH being "single" ;) yes...that's right. It was his bachelor party. I wasn't concerned at all...Caleb is a fantastic guy and so are all of his friends. They went to a Red's game, then to dinner and a bowling alley... but I did get THIS text from his brother (also best friend/best man) around midnight...

It's fake, I promise.
I think Caleb just wanted to get a rise out of me... seeing as in one of his favorite comedies, the dude gets this actually TATTED on his face. Yikes.

Sunday was spent at church in the morning, and then my cousin's last soccer game of his season. Sadly, they lost...but when they are still in the single age digits, they could really care less. It was a blast.



Then we spent the afternoon with my grandparents eating taco's and eating fresh baked cookies. (What wedding diet?!)

Hope everyone had a blast this weekend and a wonderful day celebrating the special women in your lives!